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12 of the Most Memorable Movie Break-Ups — Ever!

Last week the phone rang. When I picked up, someone heavy breathed and then let out some mangled cry. I was on the verge of hanging up when I realized it was one of my dearest friends. All she could wail was, “He did it on a note. A NOTE!” Turns out what ‘he’ –  her boyfriend of 3 years, 6 months and two weeks, ‘did,’ was to pack up all his stuff in the flat they shared, and leave her a note. So returning from a girls’ lunch out, having sunk some glasses of fizz and a tasty risotto, she noticed that the hall had fewer coats than usual, and there wasn’t his pants lying on the bedroom floor. Her first thought, “Bless, Mr X, he has tidied up the flat!” Then…. then, she saw the note. A pathetic piece of paper torn from a notebook that merely said, “I’m sorry, but it wasn’t working. I think we need some time apart. I’ll be in touch re: bills etc. You take care.”

“You TAKE CARE” she raged at me down the phone, and then later in person. “Like I’m some old buddy, or someone he knows on Facebook. Not his partner of 3 years!!!” Yes, she started in the ‘in shock’ stage for all of half an hour, and then moved with deft speed into the ‘angry’ phase of a break-up. She is currently still there. Anything that he left behind in haste (a framed football shirt from his favorite team) is now in the bin or on Ebay. She is really doing exceptionally well at the old anger stage. It may be a while before she moves into the ‘in denial’ stage, and even longer before she ticks the ‘devastated’ box.  If the grief of a break-up is in seven stages, she is only on No 2.

Personally, I think she feels all the things we do after a bad break-up: rejection, betrayal, hurt, anger, loss — and yet we still somehow want them back. I speak as a woman who has been dumped several times. The best one, was when a boy (who was possibly the dullest man in Britain, but he looked a bit like Brad Pitt so I tolerated him) ditched me, because (and I quote), “Your personality is too much for me.” It is to my eternal regret that I never replied, “That is because I have a personality, whereas you buddy, don’t.”

We’ve all been there. Stunned as we are told the dreadful words, “It’s not you, it’s me.” When clearly, it isn’t about them – it is because they don’t like us enough. Sob.

So, in celebration of all great movie break-ups, the ones that made us laugh and those than made us cry – and the ones that made us go “We’ve all been there,” enjoy the slideshow below.

Which one is the ULTIMATE break-up? Let me know!

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 1 of 12
    eternal sunshine 2

    I remember being blown away after watching this movie. It was so beautifully acted - with the clear message, "The heart wants what the heart wants." Emotionally withdrawn Joel Barish meets free spirit Clementine Kruczynski on a train and is drawn to her. What he doesn't know is that he's met her before - in fact, they had a relationship, but Clementine hired the NYC firm Lacuna, Inc. to erase all her memories of them together. Upon discovering this, Joel is devastated and decides to undergo the procedure himself, a process that takes place while he sleeps. Even when he no longer wants to forget her - it is too late, he is already under. His last memory of Clementine is her telling him: "Meet me in Montauk."  So will they meet? And can a relationship that floundered once, ever succeed? The most perfect love story ever. 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • Gone with the Wind 2 of 12
    wind

    *Thinks of Rhett Butler and swoons...*

    Oh Scarlett, what took you so long to realize that you loved Rhett? And that Ashley Wilkes is a weak lily-livered fool, who cannot possibly hold a candle to the charming, witty, charismatic Mr. Butler? Sure she marries Rhett, but after the birth of their daughter Bonnie, she sends him packing to the spare bedroom. It is only when Melanie dies and Ashley is free to be with her - does Scarlett wake up and realize it is Rhett she loves after all. But he is already out the door. Can she win him back? After all, tomorrow is another day...

    Photo credit: Amazon

  • (500) Days of Summer 3 of 12
    500 days summer

    Now, I'm sorry but when I watched this movie, I never saw what was so great about aloof, cold, snarky Summer anyway. The movie begins in reverse, with Summer ending her relationship with Tom after 290 days. Tom doesn't take the break-up well at all, so months later when he sees her again at a colleague's wedding, he is delighted. They dance and talk and she invites him to a party at her apartment. Tom reads all the signs as a chance that they will rekindle their relationship once more - but will they? This movie proves that no matter what we think - boys don't do break-ups well either... 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • Almost Famous 4 of 12
    almost famous

    Cameron Crowe's melodic film is in my Top 10 of all time. Why? because the script is smart, endearing, warm and memorable. Poor Penny Lane - the 'band-aid' (her word for groupie) who is in love with Stillwater's guitarist Russell. She follows him on tour - their affair open for all to see - until the band head towards New York, where she is told she must leave, as Russell's wife is arriving. That, coupled with being sold in a poker game to another band, for $50 and a case of beer, tips poor Penny over the edge. Will 15-year-old writer William, who is in love with her, be able to save her? If there is one moral in this wonderful tale, it is being a groupie ain't cool at all...

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • Blue Valentine 5 of 12
    valentine

    Both leads secured Oscar nominations for their roles in this tale of a doomed marriage. I had heard amazing things about this movie before I watched it - but all I could think throughout - was how MEAN Cindy is to poor Dean, who married her and loves her daughter, despite the fact the child is not his own. In my mind, Cindy never loved Dean, but just saw him as a solution to her single Mom status. This film shows their marriage unraveling with alarming speed. Tragic and sad, it haunts you. Not one for date night eh? 

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • The Break-Up 6 of 12
    the break up 2

    Poor Brooke - going to all that effort, preparing dinner for her family, and all Gary had to do was bring home 12 lemons for her centerpiece. He brings two. Then doesn't want to help with the clean up. Gary Gary Gary - NO ONE wants to do the dishes, but that is what you DO to help your long suffering girlfriend. Brooke decides enough is enough, but will Gary leave the condo before she does? The fight begins... The ultimate break-up movie. Gary, you didn't deserve her. Fellas, look and learn, look and LEARN. 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • The Wedding Singer 7 of 12
    wedding singer

    Wedding singer Robbie is ditched at the altar (ouch!) by his bride-to-be, Linda. It makes him a somewhat bitter performer, making joyous wedding parties descend into chaos as he spits out his bile flavored songs. Meanwhile his friend Julia is planning her own wedding and asks him to help. Trouble is, she is marrying serial-cheater Glenn who rocks a bad Miami Vice look. Will Robbie get over his heartbreak? Will he win Julia's heart? For some post break-up cheer, rent this movie and have a good old chuckle. 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall 8 of 12
    sarah marshall

    Being dumped while you are naked has to be up there on the tragic scale. That's exactly what happens to Peter, when his actress girlfriend ditches him after 5 years together. He heads off on a vacation to Hawaii to mend his broken heart, only to find Sarah is there too - with her new boyfriend, rockstar Aldous Snow. And they are in the next room - so he can hear EVERYTHING. But sometimes, in the midst of getting over someone, you can't see the new person standing right under your nose. Will Peter notice the stunning Rachel before it is too late? And will he ever get over Sarah Marshall

    Photo Credit: Amazon 

  • Kramer vs. Kramer 9 of 12
    kramer

    You might need hankies for this one people! Joanna Kramer can take no more. So one day, Ted returns home from work - he is always at work - to find her leaving. At first he doesn't take her seriously, but she is out that door. The next day his son Billy wakes up and Ted tries to make him french toast - it all goes badly. Ted assumes Joanna will be back, but she has gone for good. Slowly, Ted and Billy find their feet and form a close bond. Ted loses his job as it conflicts with his parental responsibilities. 15 months on, Joanna gets in touch. She has sorted herself out and now wants her son back... This Oscar-winning film is amazing. Every time I see it I cry. A lot. And love it even more. 

     

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • High Fidelity 10 of 12
    high fidelity

    The film centres on Rob, a self-confessed music geek with a poor understanding of women. After getting dumped by his current girlfriend, Laura  he decides to look up some of his old partners in an attempt to figure out where he keeps going wrong in his relationships. He spends his days at his record store, Championship Vinyl, where he holds court over the customers that drift through.  I read the book before I saw the movie, and have to confess, I totally got why Rob was dumped, and wondered why Laura had stayed with him so long in the first place. An emotional cripple, Rob was selfish, unable to commit, and egotistical and arrogant about all this music, and in fact, all things. 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • Annie Hall 11 of 12
    annie hall

    Woody Allen's tale of love and romance and nervous sex can be summed up as thus: love is essential, especially if it is neurotic. Alvy meets Annie on a tennis court, she gives him a ride uptown, they drink wine and then kiss. But Alvy's inability to relax frankly would send any woman running for the hills. Alvy spends the movie reflecting on his relationship with Annie and why it didn't work - no matter how many times you try and salvage it. Sometimes you have to just let yourself fall, be vulnerable, and grow from it. You hear me, Alvy? 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

  • When Harry Met Sally 12 of 12
    when harry met sally

    Ahhh what a wonderful film. Now, if you are ever gonna bump into your ex-wife, with her new husband in tow, the last place you want it to be is when you are singing karaoke in a store, slapping your thigh. Not a good look. This is what happens to Harry, when he is out shopping with Sally, for a housewarming gift for their buddies. Sally too, is getting over a failed relationship - and she is doing pretty well until she discovers that her ex is getting married. She realizes it wasn't being married that he didn't want - it was being married to HER. But, there is a happy ending. I won't spoil it, but if you have never watched this movie - you are in for a treat. Just perfect. I never get bored watching it. 

    Photo credit: Amazon 

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